1. Creation (Nature of God in Genesis 1 (God as transcendent: God is…
Religious Art & Depiction of Creation
Creation of Adam
found on the roof of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, Rome. Shows key religious ideas about the nature of God and of humans. Shows Adam as the ideal man, but not yet created. Painting represents then moment when God makes Adam come to life.
Adam depends on God for life.
God is powerful but ancient. Idea that humans made in the image of God. God is ancient but humanity is new.
Hands of Adam and God reaching out to each other reflect the
longing for a close relationship between God and humanity.
God is depicted as transcendent.
God is the creator of everything.
Controversial aspects of this painting
: All paintings
are limited as to what they can depict
. 1) Genesis 2 states that God made Adam out of dust, and brought him to life by breathing into his nostrils. 2) God and Adam are depicted as almost equal. 3) The idea of God as an old man.
Other Christian art that depicts creation
Jean-Baptiste Capronnier - stained glass window
Presence of animals behind God, while Adam and Eve stand in front of God,
reflects the relative importance of humanity compared with the rest of creation.
God is a little bigger, but still a similarity between God and humans. Again emphasising
being created in God's image.
. However posture of humans depicts they are
subservient to and dependent on God.
Snake and tree hints to the story of the Fall.
Nature of God in Genesis 1
God as transcendent
: God is completely beyond the created world.
God as omnipotent
: God is all-powerful. He has the power to do whatever he wants. He can even create things from nothing (
creatio ex nihilo
is seen by the Catholic Church as a poem or myth, not a scientific explanation. It shows God creating in an orderly way. it shows God's nature.
Creation and nature of humans in Genesis 2
God breathes life into humans. Hebrew word for 'breath' is
. Humans share the breath of God.
God gives humans free will.
Significance of Creation story for Catholics
: the idea that believers have a duty to respect all of God's creation. Catholics should do their best to ensure that no part of creation is destroyed or undervalued.
Dignity of human beings
: all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore no one should be mistreated in any way.
Sanctity of Life
: all creation is holy because it is blessed by God, particularly human life. Human life is a gift from God. Every stage of human life from conception to death must be treated with care and respect.
Origins and structure of the Bible
: comes from the Greek word
meaning 'book'. Roman Catholic Church recognises 73 books, written between c. 1000 BCE & 100 CE. Individual books in the Bible written for different audiences and for different people. Bible contains stories, prayers, poetry, prophesies, history and advice how to live.
: deals with the ways God related to the Jewish people throughout history, before the coming of Jesus.
: the first 5 books. The Law includes how the Jews became the people of God, and God's guidance for how he wanted the Jews to live.
: how God guided his people and how the people often refused to listen.
: including prayers, psalms, books of advice and poems.
: containing the words of inspired figures who were sent by God to teach people how God is active in the world, and to challenge people to stay faithful to God.
:deals with the life and teachings of Jesus and the writings of the early Christian Church
: (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), which recorded the actions and life of Jesus.
Acts of the Apostles
: (a continuation of the Gospel of Luke), which tell of some of the events in the early Church up to about 60 CE.
: (letters), which show Christians how to live by Jesus' teachings and what it means to be a Christian.
: an apocalyptic book written by John, written in a coded language, which some Christians believe describe the end of the world.
Inspiration and the Bible as the word of God
: the guidance that God gives to people.
God sends his Holy Spirit to guide people. All Christians accept that through the bible God speaks to his people. The Holy Spirit guides the writers of the scriptures to show the truth about God and his relationship with humankind, but by using human words and imagination. The Bible is the word of God in human words.
: the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, exercised by the Pope and the bishops.
The Holy Spirit is believed to be constantly working in the Catholic Church. The Bible is interpreted in light of the Church's teachings.
Sacred Scripture is the word of God
inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine spirit,
while sacred tradition takes the word of God
entrusted by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and
hands it on to their successors in its pure purity
Dei Verbum #9, Vatican II